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Not stopping at crosswalks lands drivers major fines

Several Grande Prairie drivers have been given hefty fines for not stopping for people crossing the street. The RCMP’s Municipal Traffic Unit went on a blitz the Friday before the long weekend.

They charged more than five people with failing to yield to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk, and others with different offences. The penalty for not stopping is a $776 fine and four demerit points.

Corporal Shawn Graham reminds drivers they need to watch for pedestrians at intersections or crosswalks, as well as other vehicles stopping or slowing down in the next lane over. Extra attention should be paid in residential areas, as well as school and playground zones.

At the same time, pedestrians are reminded never to jaywalk, and to cross only at intersections if a crosswalk or signals aren’t available. It’s also smart to wear bright or reflective clothing, make eye contact with drivers before crossing, and to put away headphones, cell phones and other electronic devices.

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Graham adds that alcohol is often a factor in serious pedestrian collisions. On average, more than one-third of pedestrians in fatal crashes, and 15 per cent in injury crashes, had drank alcohol beforehand.

From January to the end of October 2016, Grande Prairie had the second highest number of pedestrian-vehicle collisions of all RCMP regions in the province.

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